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Greene County Has First Case This Year of West Nile Virus


Greene County has its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Greene County has its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year.

The Springfield County Health Department announced Thursday that a 54-year-old man in the county has the virus.

Jaci McReynolds is the spokesperson for the health department.

She reminds people to put this news into perspective.

West Nile is a viral illness that birds carry. But it's spread to people through infected mosquitoes. That's why McReynolds says it's important to take steps to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes.

Officials also advise using an EPA-approved insect repellent that contains DEET if you're going to be outside at dusk or dawn.

Only a fraction of people who are infected with West Nile show symptoms. Those might include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. McReynolds says it's probably a good idea to seek medical attention if you have those symptoms have been exposed to mosquitoes.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department keeps track of West Nile Virus cases in the area but does not perform tests for the illness.